RESEARCH: Lions yawn when it’s time to get moving

In research conducted in 2020, scientists think that lions have contagious yawns – when one lion yawns, nearby lions yawn too. This is shown in human behaviour too. Also, scientists noticed that a lion’s yawn signals to other lions that it is time to get moving.

Scientist Elisabetta Palagi at the University of Pisa in Italy, and her research students, were collecting hyena data in South Africa. The New Scientist magazine in April 2021 reported that the researchers also filmed lion behaviour. Elisabetta Palagi noticed, when she watched the videos, that the lions were yawning one after the other and then got up and moved in near-synchroncity – that is, they all made similar movements. 

Palagi’s research students, Grazia Casett and Andrea Paolo Nolfo, observed 19 lions living in two social groups at the Siyafunda Wildlife & Conservation Camp, which is a research camp in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve in Limpopo province in South Africa. They took about five hours of video for each lion, day and night, over four months in 2020. 

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What is the difference in the way a baboon and an orangutan sleep?

What is the difference in the way a baboon and an orangutan sleep? 

Scientists conducted a research study to see if there was a difference in the way large primates sleep.

American scientists, Dr. Samson of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and Robert Shumaker of Indiana University in Bloomington, chose two primate species to study, and they published their findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2015. 

The primate species they chose to study were the baboon and the orangutan. The baboon is a monkey (it has a tail) and the orangutan is an ape (it does not have a tail). 

They video-taped 12 baboons and 5 orangutans sleeping over a period of 1-4 months. The scientists studied their sleeping positions, body movements, sleep patterns, and brain activity by measuring rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (which is light sleep) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep (which is deep sleep associated with dreaming). 

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RESEARCH: Larks and Owls – Chronotypes: early riser or late to bed?

The lark – a small diurnal songbird – rises early and is active during the day, whereas the owl – a large nocturnal bird – is active at night.

Psychology Today has documented a recent study on chronotypes – whether a person is a morning person (up with the lark) or a late night person (to bed with the owl) and who they attract as partners.

Many studies have been previously conducted on personality traits, but there has been limited studies on chronotypes. Chronotypical behaviour is a preference for rising early or going to bed late. Morning people are called larks (and they reach peak performance early in the day) and late night people are called owls (who perform well in the afternoon or evening).

However, there is a continuum, with most people clustering around the middle – a neutral chronotype.

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